Eye On Springfield: Kathy Bejma Of Metalcakes/Faberge Egg Salad

eye on springfield

If you read my Smartline post a couple weeks ago, you already know that Kathy Bejma runs two blogs dealing with recipes, Metalcakes and Faberge Egg Salad. Metalcakes consists of cupcake recipes inspired by metal bands like Bolt Thrower, Hellhammer, Axeslahser (which is a pizza cupcake!), and Inter Arma. Faberge Egg Salad on the other hand deals with real world recipes of foods seen on The Simpsons, like Marge’s homemade Pepsi, Martin’s Raisin Roundies, and Homer’s Patented Space-Age Out Of The World Moon Waffles. Both blogs even have vegan/vegetarian alternatives when applicable (Faberge Egg Salad labeling them as Lisa Simpsons Approved).

Kathy was the first person outside of people I already knew to be into this blog and what I am doing so I’m really excited to share this interview with her.

What is your history with The Simpsons?
I actually do remember watching them on The Tracey Ullman show (I’m old). I thought they were so weird looking, but Bart was such a cool rebel! Haha!
I also remember buying a Simpsons sweatshirt at Meijer when I was in second grade. It had all of them on the front with their names underneath, and a big family photo on the back. The kids at Latch-Key were impressed with Marge’s hair.
When those “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?” shirts came out, my mother was shocked an appalled.
So of course I wanted one really badly. I had to compromise with a door-sized poster of Bart saying “Stay out of my room, man!”
I love that the show kind of got smarter and grew up, and that I got to grow up with it over the years. The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live (the Chris Farely, Jan Hooks, Phil Hartman, Mike Myers years) have probably had the biggest influence on my sense of humor.
Who is your favorite character from the show? Who do you relate to the most?
I like Jasper Beardly and Hank Scorpio at lot, but I relate mostly to Milhouse. I’m a socially-awkward underdog, and I can’t see anything without my glasses. “Who’s talking?”
Do you have a favorite character to quote?
Jasper is probably the character I quote the most. I say “What a time to be alive,” and “You sunk my Battleship” on a regular basis.
But I also use Moe’s “For the love of crumb cake!”, Krusty’s “Yes I was drinking gasoline, MOTHER!”, and Snake’s “Goodbye student loan payments!” a lot, too.
You run a blog with recipes based off food that has appeared on the show. What made you want to start the blog?
Well, food in cartoons always looks so delicious to me! Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja’s turtles’ extra cheesy pizza, the Reptar Bars on Rugrats that turn your tongue green, and Garfield’s lasagna.
So I decided I wanted to make some Homer Doughnuts one day, and the blog began. A lot of the stuff I create is food based. When I was in film school, all the films I made were about food. I guess it’s good to have a permeating theme!
Would you ever eat Million Dollar Birthday Fries straight off of Moe’s head?
Heck yeah I would!! But I would try to eat them quickly, to save Moe from severe scalp burns.
Lucky for Moe, I don’t have a twin.
Do you have a favorite guest star?
Rodney Dangerfield as Larry Burns is the best! “This guy’s got more bread than a prison meatloaf! I’ve never seen a house with a walk-in mailbox before. Hey! Who am I talkin’ to?” It’s definitely one of my top 5 favorite episodes.
I also love ALL of Jon Lovitz’s characters. “The review ‘Play enjoyed by ALL’ speaks for itself.”
Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
Maybe Fenriz making a cameo appearance at the Springfield Post Office.
They’ve already had Spinal Tap on, but maybe they could do some kind of Venom vs. Spinal Tap fight. That would be a pretty funny cartoon battle.
But with Harry Shearer gone, it would be difficult.
When Cyanide (a loving tribute to Poison) plays at Otto’s wedding, and the drummer yells “We need a ride home!” Yeah, that cracks me up every time! But I don’t think they could have handled the real Cianide, who have nothing at all to do with Poison, and they probably don’t play a lot of weddings.
You’ve posted a lot of pictures of Simpsons patches and buttons. Do you have a favorite one?
Oh man… Don’t make me choose just one!!
I like my “Put Food In Me” pin and my Lenny & Carl Yin Yang a lot. But I just got this glow-in-the-dark Friday night Mr.Burns patch from Mike McCabe that I’m super excited about. I’m working on a battle vest to wear to Simpsons Trivia every month. That’ll intimidate my opponents (not really)!
patches
Do you still watch the show? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
I don’t watch the show anymore. I’m a fan of seasons 1-10. There are 2 or 3 episodes I like in season 11, but that’s it.
I stopped watching when the jokes weren’t clever anymore. More times than not, I was laughing because I was uncomfortable, not because it was actually funny. I feel like things started to take a turn for the worse with the Armin Tamzarian episode. It’s not a bad episode, and there certainly are some really funny jokes in that episode (Armin’s copy of Swank! Armin’s frozen peas!), but it was a weird, kinda lazy, story line. It was the beginning of the end of the glory days of The Simpsons.
Now it’s just not funny, they have too many trendy guest stars just crammed into episodes for no reason, and Homer has become a full-fledged jerk-ass. He’s gotten too mean and abusive to be funny.
I’m a big fan of Bob’s Burgers though! And speaking from a Feminist point of view, Linda and Bob are far more equal partners than Homer and Marge. Also, there are a lot more poop jokes on Bob’s Burgers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hahaha!
How would you like to see the series end?
Even though I’m not a big fan of season 11, I feel like the last episode of that season “Behind The Laughter,” should have been the last episode of the series.
But if they were going to end the show today, maybe they could all drive off a cliff like The Young Ones.
You can find Kathy and her blogs at:

Band Crush Wednesday: Dayton, Ohio Edition

For this weeks Band Crush Wednesday, I wanted to highlight a couple bands from my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

choking

First up is blackened doom metal band, Choking. Forming this year and already releasing a demo and a full length, Choking are bringing massive riffs and negativity to Dayton. Consisting of Ryan Mattox on guitar/vocals, Max Otworth on drums, and Matt Rose on bass, the bands selt-titled full length is 3 songs of crushing doom that is a must hear for fans of Conan, Beneath Oblivion, Sea Bastard, and Primitive Man. Both their demo and full length are available for Pay What You Want on Bandcamp, but you should definitely throw some money their way. I’d love to see these guys be the metal band to break out of Dayton and do big things.

Choking on Bandcamp

neon-warshipSecond is Neon Warship, a three piece stoner rock/metal band that has released one self-titled full length in 2013. Consisting of Kevin Schindel on guitar/vocals, Matt Tackett on bass, and Jay Bird on drums, the band has been around since 2011 and (I think) are currently working on a new album. Neon Warship would appeal to fans of 70’s hard rock bands, The Sword, St. Vitus, and Ghost BC. Their one album is on Bandcamp for Pay What You Want, but again, you should throw some money their way if you like what you hear.

Neon Warship on Bandcamp
Neon Warship on Facebook

flesh warfare

Finally, a band I got to see once opening for Full Of Hell/Weedeater, is the band Flesh Warfare. Playing a style of old school death metal and thrash that had it’s hay day when their parents were teenagers, they completely nail the sound of early Death and Morbid Angel. The three members, Reegan Wenning on drums, Nash Walkup on guitar/vocals, and Jesse Creekbaum on bass/vocals, have recorded a handful of songs but haven’t had an official release yet (I think you can buy some songs on their Reverb Nation ). I look forward for them to release an album because they blew me away at the Weedeater show.

Flesh Warfare on Facebook

Eye On Springfield: Ross Mckendrick

eye on springfield

When I first started work on this blog, one of the most vocal supporters was Ross Mckendrick. He was extremely into the idea that all the interviews were strictly about The Simpsons. So, when I found out that Ross, who lives in Scotland, has done some work as an artist for metal bands, namely for concert posters, I knew he would be a great interview. Ross recently released a handmade zine of his linework entitled Black Inkantations. You can check out/order Black Inkantations in the US from Expiring Sun and in the European area HERE.

BlackInkantations

What is your history with the Simpsons? Do you remember the first time you saw the show?
I was born in 1988, so The Simpsons has been around pretty much my whole life. I was aware of it from a very young age but my family never had satellite TV, which was the only way you could see episodes in the UK at that time. The first time I ever saw the show itself must’ve been Hallowe’en 1994, because it was the Treehouse Of Horror episode with ‘The Shinning’ in it.
I only managed to catch it because my mum had taken me out guising (which is what we call trick-or-treating in Scotland), and as we reached the house about 2 doors down from ours the episode was just starting. I invited myself into this family’s house, plonked myself in front of their TV and pretty much refused to leave for most of the episode.
I was totally enthralled by it, I didn’t even bother doing my ‘trick’, which was my pretty killer Jim Carrey impression (I had dressed as The Mask; green face, zoot suit and everything). I thought the fact they had a Scottish character was awesome, and even more awesome was the fact it was a cartoon, but it had axe murders in it. I seriously thought the whole show was like that; a twisted cartoon take on movies I wasn’t allowed to watch yet.
It was love at first sight.
 

Do you have a character you relate to the most?
When I was a young kid, it was Bart for sure. I was always talking back and acting the fool when I shouldn’t have been. As I hit my late teenage years, and was dead set on becoming a total hesher burnout, it was obviously Otto. These days I’m probably closer to Mr Burns or something.

Who is your favorite character to quote?
I endlessly quote a bunch of different characters, but the most obscure one which I use all the time is the sound Sideshow Bob makes when he steps on the rake in ‘Cape Feare’. That usually gets used whenever something gives me the ‘douche chill’.

As an artist, is there an aspect to the look of the show that appeals to you?
I was always drawing the Simpsons as a kid, like seriously, all the damn time. I must’ve drawn Bart a hundred times; I would obsess over getting the amount of points in his hair right. I loved drawing the more surreal-looking minor characters too, like Kang and Kodos, Satan-Flanders, Sideshow Mel, all those weirdos.
The Simpsons made me think, hey, this cartoon is the biggest deal in the world, I’m gonna be a cartoonist! I never went into animation, but I still draw weird shit to this day, so it pretty much had a life-changing impact.

What is your favorite episode(s)?
Oh man, I am so glad you included the ‘(s)’ caveat there, there’s no way could I pick just one.
Off the top of my head, ‘Homer At The Bat’ always has me in stitches, it’s so fucking surreal, and the fact I understand none of the baseball references doesn’t hamper my enjoyment in the slightest. ‘You Only Move Twice’ for obvious, hammock-based reasons. ‘Homer Badman’, just for the fake exposé with the skipping clock hands, which has me laughing even just typing it.
Also, pretty much every episode of Season 7 is solid fucking gold as far as I’m concerned; “Let the bears pay the bear tax!”, “Are you being sarcastic duuude?”, “The goggles! They do nothing!”, “Beep beep! Out my way, I am a motorist.”, “Ah wash mahself with a rag on a stick.”. I could go on all day.

Do you have a favorite guest star?
There are so many. Obviously Albert Brooks as Hank Scorpio is the pinnacle, and finding out that Johnny Cash voiced the Space Coyote was amazing, but I always loved the episode with John Waters as the uber-camp, super-nerdy collectible store owner.
I was kind of a hoarder as a kid, I never threw out a single toy even when it was broken, so my bedroom was filled with all this weird junk I found, one-armed action figures, weird cartoon posters. So I thought John was pretty much the coolest guy the family had met by that point.
When I got a little older and found out he was voiced by John Waters, it only added to how awesome I thought he was.

Who from the world of metal would you love to see guest on the show?
I think metal has so many great characters and personalities of it’s own, to see any of them cross over would be cool. Personally, I would love it if somehow Fenriz ended up in the show. He’s basically like a Norwegian Otto anyway, right?

I’m a big fan of the Treehouse of Horror episodes, especially the look of the episodes. Do you have a favorite Treehouse segment?
Oh man, those are definitely some of my favourites.
I love the 6th one, which has ‘Attack Of The 50ft Eyesores’, ‘Nightmare On Evergreen Terrace’ and  ‘Homer³’. I think that came out in ’95, months before Toy Story came out over here, so the ‘Homer³’ segment was probably the first time I had ever seen CGI animation.
I loved the way they managed to seamlessly blend the traditional animation with CGI, and even dropped a live action Homer into the real world at the end. It blew my mind, and introduced millions to the idea of erotic cakes.

How would you like to see the series end?
By now, I kinda just wish it would. I haven’t seen more than the occasional episode here and there since about 2003, but each one has been so unrecognisable to me as the show I once loved so much.
When I went to see the movie when it came out in ’07, so much of it just bummed me out. Green Day? Spider-pig? Urgh. Leave the overt pop culture references to Seth McFarlane’s garbage shows.
Anyway, if they were to announce the series’ end, I’d love for them to return to the classic humour and type of stories they started with, close things full circle, and end on a high.

Ross

You can find Ross McKendrick and his work at:
Twitter
RDM Visuals

Band Crush Wednesday

clouds collide

This weeks Band Crush Wednesday is for the one man post black metal project, Clouds Collide. Sole member Christopher Pandolfo, hailing from Pennsylvania, creates beautiful, shoegaze inspired black metal dealing with grief and loss. Drawing comparisons to bands like Deafheaven and Alcest, while fitting, doesn’t do Clouds Collide justice. Neither of those bands can even come close to the gorgeousness of what Christopher accomplishes by himself.

Clouds Collide released the winter inspired Until The Wind Stops Blowing… in January of 2013, an album of harsh black metal vocals and cold, yet majestic sounding, music that was inspired and dedicated to the memories of Christopher’s mother Rose. It’s an emotional and dark album that is offset with a true sense of melody and stunning musicianship.

After a short EP of ambient songs, entitled NYC, Clouds Collide released an EP that was original meant to be released as a split with Sleeping PeoniesElestial is 4 songs that work as a perfect stop gap between Until The Wind Stops Blowing… and newest album, released in early June, All Things Shining. Adding a bigger focus on clean vocals intermingled with the harsh black metal screams, Elestial features one of my all time favorite songs ever written, the ten plus minute opus, ‘Patience.’ It’s everything I want when I listen to atmospheric black metal.

With the release of All Things Shining, Clouds Collide have moved from the cold winter sounds to a more ethereal summer/fall sounds. There’s a strong sense of hope and acceptance. “All Things Shining deals with the ups and downs of overcoming loss and once again is hugely influenced by nostalgic connections with the seasons and memories that may come along with them”, Pandolfo says on the Bandcamp page for All Things Shining. An immaculate production that focuses on the vocals and keyboards instead of burying them behind walls of tremolo picking and blast beats, Clouds Collide created one of the best, bravest, and inspired black metal albums of the last decade.

You can also listen to Christopher on the latest episode of Full Metal Hipster!

You can find Clouds Collide at:
Bandcamp
Twitter
Facebook

Album Review: Vattnet Viskar – Settler

Vattnet-Viskar-Settler

Progression is a scary word for a lot of people who listen to metal, especially black metal. Fans want you to follow their rules, whatever it is they think will make you “true.”  Whether that’s always sounding like you record your albums in a basement or only taking promo pictures in snow with corpsepaint on, black metal fans have their own rule books you must follow to even be considered. For New Hampshire band Vattnet Viskar, that rule book is just kindling to burn down everything that makes you feel safe and secure.

Everything about Vattnet Viskar’s new album, Settler, is about saying “fuck the rules” and doing what makes you happy. Take those challenges. Yes, they may end up in disaster, but being in a stagnant state is boring and teaches you nothing about yourself. Inspired by Christa McAuliffe, a New Hampshire high school teacher who was selected to take part in the NASA Teacher in Space Project and eventually became a member of the space shuttle Challenger team. In 1986, 73 seconds after Challenger took off, the shuttle broke apart, killing everyone on board.

That feeling of hope and joy one second and complete despair the next is a perfect metaphor for Settler. From the blast off like onset of ‘Dawnbringer’ until the last, heart-wrenching solo of ‘Coldwar’, the album runs a gamut of emotions. ‘Dawnbringer’ almost makes you feel anxious like you’re sitting in that seat, waiting to take off.  Between Chris Alfieri’s riffs and Seamus Menihane’s drums, coupled with Sanford Parker’s production, you can almost imagine yourself being propelled through space. There is a weightlessness to the riffs throughout the whole album, but especially here.

buzz-aldrin-simpsons-figure02

There is also a bigger sense of cohesiveness to Settler than on previous works. When listened to separately, ‘Impact’, a total pit starter that I imagine will be a live staple for a long time, ‘Yearn’, and ‘Glory’ might all sounds totally different. But when listened to in a row as intended (Yearn, Impact, Glory), they fit together perfectly.

Speaking of ‘Glory’, if you had told me even a year ago that my favorite song on any album in 2015 would contain a full on nu metal riff, I would have thought you were crazy. ‘Glory’ is easily the bravest song Vattnet Viskar has released in their career, and said nu metal riff is the highlight. It all goes back to the “do what makes you happy, fuck the rules” attitude of the album. The interplay between the rhythm section through ‘Glory’ is also incredible.

In fact, the rhythm section is one of the best things about the album. Seamus played on Sky Swallower, but Casey Aylward is new to the band on Settler, and his addition is a game changer. Neither Casey nor Seamus come from full fledged metal backgrounds, and you can hear it in their playing. They sync well together and at times add a nice bounciness underneath the tremolo picking and harsh vocals. It’s also nice to hear Seamus not having to blast beat his way throughout most of the album. His fills are a perfect touch to a lot of the moments throughout .It’s also incredibly satisfying to hear them play under some of the best riffs Chris Alfieri and Nick Thornbury have ever written. The middle section of ‘Heirs’ is a perfect example.

But for me, everything on the album leads to ‘Coldwar’. There is an emotional catharsis, for me at least, throughout the song. The onset is bouncy and poppy, leading into about a minute of blast beats and furious guitar work, back into bounciness. By the time you reach the last third of the song, it all slows down into some of Casey’s  best work. His bass playing is top notch and full of heart playing under a minimum guitar part. Which all leads to a guitar solo that has made me cry almost every time I’ve heard it. It’s full of sadness that leads into an almost hopefulness that is beautiful and an absolute perfect way to end the album.

Settler will hopefully lead to bigger and better things for Vattnet Viskar.. They wrote an album that is brave, heartfelt, challenging, and beautiful. It’s the sound of a band that is at the top of their game. It may only be June, but I don’t think there will be much that comes out that will even come close to topping Settler.

You can order Settler HERE.

Rating – Stupid sexy Flanders! (5/5)
feels-like-im-wearing-nothing-at-all

You can order Settler HERE.

Smartline

Smartline

Since there is no interview this week, I thought I would post about some cool things being done in the world of metal and the Simpsons. These are all things I think are worth your time and/or money. If you’re a fan of this site at all, you’ll definitely find something you’ll like in this list. Anytime I do this, I’ll try to limit it to 2 or 3 each from metal and Simpsons related things, that way it’s not a big overload all at once. I hope you find something you like!

Black Metal Of The Americas

bmotaBlack Metal Of The Americas is a Chicago based zine focusing on the black metal scene in North and South America. Featuring interviews with bands, album reviews, and essays, the 75-80 page zine is always full of great, well written material. They recently released issue 8, which features interviews with members of Vattnet Viskar, Immortal Bird, Vile Creature, Woman Is The Earth, and artist Chuck BB. You can pick up a physical copy for just $5 and even free PDF files. Grab a copy HERE!

Full Metal Hipster

cropped-SpaceHipsterDemo2

Full Metal Hipster is a podcast by Shayne Mathis. A complete labor of love for Shayne, the podcast is a mix of music and interviews, the podcast is a way for Shayne to support the underground metal scene and the bands he likes. Featuring interviews with Paul from Twilight Fauna, Dustin from Old Thunder, Dan Jackson from Void Ritual, Justin Lascelle from Axeslasher, Vic and KW from Vile Creature, and Ed from Black Metal Of The Americas, it’s always a fascinating listen. There are also a couple of episodes that Shayne does solo, just him talking about and playing songs from some of his favorite up and coming bands. You can check out the podcast HEREShayne was even nice enough to have me on episode 9 to talk about Xtapolapometal and all things The Simpsons!

Metalcakes/Faberge Egg Salad

Metalcakes logo

Metalcakes is a blog of cupcake recipes inspired by metal bands/music. Created by Kathy Bejma, the blog features lots of information about the bands on top of the recipes and instructions on the cupcakes Kathy creates. It’s also nice that she sometimes adds vegan alternatives to some of the recipes. Most recent cupcake recipes are inspired by Inter Arma, Jex Thoth, Bolt Thrower, Entombed, Hellhammer, and Axeslasher (the Axeslaher one is actually a pizza cupcake!). You can check out Metalcakes HERE!

fes

Kathy Bejma also has a blog called Faberge Egg Salad that consists of recipes to make different foods found on The Simpsons. Featuring recipes for Marge’s Homemade Pepsi, The Flaming Homer, Dr. Hibber’s ‘Wowwipops’, and Homer’s Patented Space-Age Out Of This World Moon Waffle. Kathy also marks some of the recipes that are vegetarian as “Lisa Friendly”, which is genius. You can check out Faberge Edd Salad HERE! 

As a bonus, I wanted to share a benefit released on Bandcamp this week in support of the Nepal Earthquake Relief. For only $1, you get 18 songs from bands from Nepal, including this weeks Band Crush Wednesday, Dying Out Flame. It’s a great compilation for a great cause. Check it out and donate HERE!

Band Crush Wednesday

Dying-Out-Flame-Photo

For the first Band Crush Wednesday on the new site, I wanted to write about a band that released one of my favorite albums of 2014, Dying Out Flame. Taking their name from the Hindu tradition of cremation and the last phase of the burning of a corpse, and self-described as ‘Hindu/Vedic Death Metal’, Dying Out Flame hail from Kathmandu, Nepal and play death metal that would fit perfectly playing alongside a band like Nile or Krisiun. Utilizing sanskrit chants, traditional Indian hand drums and stringed instruments, Dying Out Flame released their first album, Shiva Rudrastakam, to rave reviews from the handful of outlets that discovered it.

The band started out as a typical technical death metal band in 2011. Tired of sounding like everyone else and wanting to do something with a more positive outlook, the band started to incorporate Hindu mythologies, Vedic literature, and classical music. “This change of approach came not to reach new people but to write simple and deliver better with extra elements in the music that would stick in the listeners’ head without offending anyone. We try just to better ourselves and to become as honest with our music and philosophy as possible”, says vocalist/bassist Aabeg Gautam in an interview with Death Metal Nepal.

In April, a massive earthquake hit Kathmandu and Aabeg ended up missing. He finally turned up after spending 8 days in a hospital after one of the walls of his house fell on him during a tremor. Unfortunately, Aabeg is now homeless, but continues to write and perform with Dying Out Flame and even started working on some solo material.

You can check out Dying Out Flame at:
Dying Out Flame on Facebook
Shiva Rudrastakam on Xtreem Music’s Bandcamp

Eye On Springfield with Jono Colliver of Dr. Colossus

eye on springfield

There is a fine line a band has to walk when writing songs based on TV shows or movies. Do you full on quote from the source material or do you try to compose your own lyrics? Do you try to make your band funny or keep it serious? Add to that something as serious as heavy metal and it seems like an impossible task. Enter Australian doom metal/rock band, Dr. Colossus. Consisting of Nathan Johnston on drums and Jono Colliver on guitar and vocals, the two piece manages to meld some seriously good doom with lyrics all based off episodes of The Simpsons. Combining original lyrics with classic lines taken straight from the show, the lyrics paint a cryptic picture while also adding a fun feel any time you recognize a quote from the show. 

Dr. Colossus has released one EP, entitled IV (all three songs based off episodes from season 4), and most recently the Shut Up And Eat Your Pinecone/Whack Sabbath 7″. Both releases are available on their Bandcamp in both digital and physical form (the Pinecone 7″ is still available as a physical release). I can’t recommend checking them out enough. 

This blog is partially inspired by Dr. Colossus so I’m incredibly honored that Jono took time to answer my questions. 

How did the band come about?
Nath and myself have been playing in bands together since birth. This is the first band we’ve just played as the two of us. It came about one time we were touring with another band. We just joked about how funny it would be to take a seemingly serious musical genre and send it up with something as innocent and funny as The Simpsons.
 
 
Doom and The Simpsons are two things that seem like they wouldn’t be very compatible. What was the idea behind playing doom instead of something along the lines of indie or punk rock?
I’ve played in a few indie bands, a folk thing, a few rock bands…Nath and I have played in a blues trio together. Slower, heavier riff based stuff was just something we both loved and hadn’t really explored together much. I think the character name ‘Dr. Colossus’ leant itself pretty well to the world of doom so the rest just flowed from there.
 
Who is your favorite character from the show?
It changes all the time. I reckon Gil is the best. Just hopelessly working his arse off to keep his head above water…and he’s never very good at what he’s doing. There’s a bit of Old Gil in all of us from time to time. The wolf is at everyone’s door at least once in their life. It’s character building.
 
 
Do you have a favorite character to quote/try and write lyrics for?
No favourites. I think the best quotes are the ones that sounds the stupidest in song format. I’m also aware of trying to steer clear of any ‘Kowabunga’s’ or ‘Eat My Shorts’…I think real fans get alot from picking quotes that are a little more shrouded in mystery.
 
Most people can remember the first time they saw the show. Do you have any memories from the first time you watched The Simpsons?
I remember just being caught up on the fact that the people were all yellow. That spun me out as a kid. I think I was also really caught by things like Lisa’s and Bart’s hair. Really basic visual stuff that today we take for granted. At the time I thought it was just crazy to see.
 
 
What is your favorite episode(s)?
Currently ‘Last Exit To Springfield’ from Season 4. It’s been the basis of our track ‘Because of the War’.
 
A lot of people seemed to stop watching the show sometime after season 9. Do you still watch? If not, do you remember what made you stop watching?
I probably stopped watching it as free to air TV left my routine. In about 2008 I moved to Melbourne and went to uni so I would watch stuff online mostly. The Simpsons was still running new seasons on ‘Free to Air’ TV in Australia and I just never watched it. Now days I stream ALL my TV. Until Netflix gets the Simpsons I probably won’t bother chasing up all the newer episodes. I can safely say I’ve seen probably 15% of the Episodes post Season 17. I’ve heard there’s some decent stuff still being made though so I’ll definitely make a point of watching it all before I die.
Do you have a favorite musical number from the show? Have you ever thought about covering one of the songs from the Simpsons?
We’ve discussed covering Iron Butterfly’s ‘inna-gadda-davida’ before. I reckon that will happen at a few gigs. But ‘See My Vest’ has to be one of the most fantastic songs The Simpsons has delivered/spoofed…definitely the most memorable
Do you have any ideas on how you would like to see the series end?
With the same integrity and drive that it started with. The writers of that show are just so subversive and sharp. If The series was to finish on the same high notes it has delivered in the past that’s all you can ask
 
 
Finally, have you ever thought about writing an extra long doom song, ala Dopesmoker by Sleep? I would love to hear something like this with ’22 Short Films About Springfield’ as the lyrical content.
Yeah, that’s a great idea. I’ve considered the idea of rather than just basing the lyrics on the episode….we actually write a doom soundscape/track that you could play during the watching of an Episode. 22 Short Films About Springfield would be perfect for that. It could be a whole heap of varying sections that are all linked by a theme or riff idea. I might get onto this.
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You can check out Dr. Colossus at:
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Bandcamp

Eye On Springfield with Dan Jackson of Void Ritual & Desu

eye on springfield

For those unfamiliar, Dan is the mastermind behind the one man black metal project, Void Ritual. Taking influences from the 2nd wave of black metal and trying to “create something as ugly, hateful and callous as the world we live in”, Void Ritual’s first EP, Holodomor, definitely delivers on that goal. Based on a 1930’s man-made famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, the EP is a bleak and intense listen. Void Ritual has also released a split with black metal band Barshasketh via Broken Limb Recordings.

Dan also has an upcoming death metal project in the works, entitled Desu. Basing the lyrics on kaiju films, specifically Godzilla, Dan has released two songs on Dewar PR compilations (you can find them  HERE. )
Dan is an incredible human being and musician. I encourage anyone reading this to check out the links after the interview and buy the Void Ritual releases.

What is your first memory of The Simpsons?

The first Simpsons-related thing I can remember is my Grandpa yelling at me for watching it in the first place. I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house because my parents’ divorce was so acrimonious that they needed to use my grandparents’ house as a sort of neutral territory for pickup and drop off during visitation weekends, so I would be over there a lot on Sunday nights. The first time he saw me watching The Simpsons, he called it garbage and told me to change the channel. This would have been around 1990 or ‘91.

There is a pretty diverse cast of characters in Springfield. Who do you relate to the most? Why?

Probably Homer. I might seem a bit more bright than he is, but that’s just on the surface. I’ve stumbled my way upward, I’ve made a ton of mistakes and yet people still seem to like me. Basically, everything Grimey was mad about; you could accuse me of those same things. Cosmetically there are similarities there too: I started losing my hair in my 20s, I’m way out of shape. But aside from all of that, I also relate to Homer’s desire for life to be easy, to want to enjoy life without the harder bits. He’s also an optimist and a pessimist simultaneously, which weirdly makes sense to me. The switch for him going from “the world is amazing” to “there’s no hope for any of us” is flipped so easily, and I kind of understand that.

What is your favorite episode?

A Star is Burns. I almost said the Spinoff Showcase, but the last third brings it down some. 22 Short Films is up there too.

My first exposure to vegetarianism was from the episode Lisa The Vegetarian. Has the show ever exposed you to an idea that impacted your life? (Lisa become veg, Barney quitting drinking, etc.)

The idea of abandoning a religion or at least the church. Homer the Heretic planted seeds that wouldn’t sprout for a few more years, but that episode’s irreverent attitude toward religion was the first time I could really remember wondering to myself about why things in church were the way they were. Why were there all of these rules? Who decided on the rules that weren’t really in the bible? The idea of questioning Christianity was obviously a huge deal for me once I got older.

Do you have a favorite guest star?

The obvious answer is Phil Hartman, with Troy McClure and Lionel Hutz being absolutely tremendous characters, but I also have a soft spot for Harvey Fierstein as Karl in the episode where he acts as an assistant/life coach of sorts for Homer after his hair treatment got him a big promotion. It’s an episode I wish could have happened a bit later in the series because there’s something really compelling about Homer getting a taste of what life would be like if everything had gone how he’d hoped it would, only to have it snatched from him and snapped back into reality.

Who is someone you would like to see guest on the show?

I’d be in heaven if King Diamond did a Treehouse Of Horror episode. He seems like he’d be a natural. Plus, they just had Halford on within the last year or so, so the groundwork has already been laid.

The Simpsons have had some classic musical numbers. Do you have a favorite?

Spring in Springfield, with a special shout out to Marge’s awful response song after that.

You have a project based on Kaiju. How has there never been a Godzilla spoof for Treehouse Of Horror? If they ever did one, what movie would you like to see them spoof?

The writers do seem to like King Kong more than Godzilla as they had the Treehouse of Horror with the King Kong spoof, and Homer’s love of late night Ape movies on TV. I mean, I’d love to see it. They did have that bit at the end of the episode where they go to Japan where Godzilla had a hold of their airplane and Mothra, Rodan and Gamera were there too, although I’m pretty sure Gamera has never appeared in a Godzilla movie or Vice Versa.

There is a fan theory on the internet that claims that Homer has been in a coma for 20+ years. In the season 4 episode ‘Homer The Heretic’, Homer has a conversation with God asking about the meaning of life. God tells him he’ll find out one day. Homer says he can’t wait that long to find out and God replies “You can’t wait six months?” Cut to six months later to the episode ‘So it’s come to this: A Simpsons Clip Show.’ Bart plays an April Fools day prank on Homer causing him to fall into a coma. In the episode, Homer wakes up. But some people think he’s been in a coma ever since and everything since then has been happening in Homer’s imagination. This explains why the characters don’t age, later episodes contradicting things like how Homer and Marge met. The episodes even get zanier following the coma episode including things like Mr Burns capturing the Loch Ness Monster, secret land of jockey elves, and non-Treehouse Of Horror appearances of Kang and Kodos. Thoughts?

Sure, it’d be fun if that kind of attention to detail paid off eventually, but it’s just a happy coincidence and something for nerds like us to discuss to get even more involved than we already are. On the other side of the coin, I get this vision of Homer at the Itchy, Scratchy & Poochie panel at some convention just being like “what the hell are you talking about?”.

How would you like to see the series end?

I genuinely don’t know. How could you end something that’s gone on for so long in a satisfying way? I mean on the surface you’d think, “alright we want to bring back people who wrote classic era Simpsons episodes” and then also decide which long running gags do they want paid off. Do you want to find out which state the Simpsons live in or do you want that left alone? Do you want it to turn out that Burns has actually been in love with Smithers from day one and was simply afraid to act upon it? It’s impossible to please everyone because people argue about things you’d assume were conventional wisdom or unanimously loved. It will have to end, but I think they’d probably need another movie to do it. There’s so much to tie up. The truth is that I have no idea how it should end.

dan jackson

You can find Dan Jackson and his musical projects at:

Dan Jackson on Twitter
Void Ritual on Facebook
Void Ritual on Bandcamp